It’s February, and love is in the air! If you’re anything like me, you had ambitious plans for winter break, but somehow time slipped away from you (or in my case, we battled sickness for three weeks). Either way, I had planned to craft and bake with the kids, but here it is, February already, and I still have most of the supplies sitting in my cabinet.
As I was looking online for Valentine’s Day crafts, I came across the idea to take unused gingerbread houses from the holidays and decorate them for Valentine’s Day using heart candies and lots of red and pink icing. It looks like these houses have even been given the unofficial name of love shacks! I loved the idea instantly, and since we had untouched gingerbread houses of our own still lying around, this adorable craft was just calling to me. Plus, it was a great activity for all the kids (including yours truly).
To make your own gingerbread love shack, you will need a gingerbread house kit. My most preferred kind is the one that comes pre-assembled. Call me crazy, but assembling a gingerbread house has never been the best part of the whole deal, am I right? It’s the decorating of it that is the most fun, so if I can eliminate the construction step, then by all means, yes, I am going to do it!
I had three small houses—I mean shacks—one for each of my children, and I also had a bigger house that I did myself. The mini houses were a great size for the kids because their attention fades after a little bit, so smaller is better in their case.
To get us in the V-Day mood, I covered our work space with a washable Valentine’s Day tablecloth and gathered as many Valentine’s Day candies as I could find—royal icing bears, gummy lips, pink peppermint sticks, pink and white sprinkles, pink and red candy corn, lollipops, roses and, of course, conversation hearts.
I also purchased some pink and white fondant and small heart-shaped cookie cutters, and the kids had a blast cutting out their own fondant shapes to add to their love shacks.
I bought some Wilton “ready-to-squeeze” decorating icing in pink, white and red which made it relatively simple for the kids to put it on themselves.
We all had a blast making our adorable gingerbread love shacks. As I mentioned before, this is a fantastic activity to do with kids of all ages. My two-year-old may have had the most fun out of everyone!
To my surprise, his love shack turned out quite well—I was very impressed by the fine motor skills he used to complete it and how long it held his attention. It didn’t hurt that he was having fun snacking on all the candies when my back was turned either!
And here are our completed gingerbread love shacks! Love rules, especially when it comes to the little ones in our lives, doesn’t it? I hope your Valentine’s Day is oh-so-sweet!